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Ladies, I’d like to ask a few questions:
- How many of you have been on a diet?
- How many of you have wished for smaller thighs, smaller waists, fuller lips, smaller noses, bigger/smaller boobs?
- How many of you have seen commercials, TV shows, movies, music videos, and magazines that show us what the “ideal” woman should look like?
I’m going to guarantee that there is not a single woman reading this that has not answered yes to at least one of those questions.
I can answer yes to all three…
At some point or another, I have been on a diet.
I have wished for smaller thighs, calves, and a waist.
I have wished for smaller boobs. And even considered surgical reduction more than once.
I have been bombarded with the media’s portrayal and objectification of women and have been impacted mentally and physically by it. All without me realizing that I was being impacted…which is what is so scary.
But now, I am on a mission to put a stop to all this and I want to start by stating:
Your body is NOT a project and it is NOT something that needs to be fixed or improved upon.
Some of you know that I have had struggles with body image, and eating disorder, and depression. I opened up about that publicly in my recent You’re So Fat blog post that you can read here.
I had an epiphany in the Fall of 2015 that left my head spinning and my heart seeking answers for my struggles. It has developed into a full-blown desire to help other women who may be struggling with the same things I have and am. Healing is a journey, not a destination, but that is another blog post. 😉
Recently, I saw a video in my Facebook feed and it literally broke my heart. I immediately had to write about it because I got pretty darn fired up. I had originally included the video in this post, but it has since been removed from all social media. It was essentially a video about the objectification of women in our media and how it perpetuates body shame and hate from a very early age.
“The harm caused by the objectification of women in popular culture is not just theoretical.”
~ Psychology Today
I feel like I grew up relatively well-adjusted with parents who loved me and supported me. My home was safe and there was very little drama. I had very little access to the media (no TV and selective viewing of movies and magazines).
Yet, I ended up with full-blown body image issues and a history of disordered eating patterns.
It’s only now, mid-way through my 30s that I am finally starting to get a better understanding on the things that have plagued me for upwards of 20+ years. And from there, true healing can take place.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when my issues started, but I’d say it was around the time of 6th grade. But now, we have girls in KINDERGARTEN who are unhappy with their body. We have young girls who are worrying about “getting fat” than enjoying their childhood.
And we have teenagers getting cosmetic surgery to fit some fictional ideal. (I’m sorry, but who the hell are these parents who are OK with this?)
We have young girls who put more value on the size of their clothes than the value of their intellect, their feelings, and what they can do. And we have young men who see women constantly objectified, which sets up its own cascade of nastiness.
Frankly, this makes me angry. Very, very, VERY angry. I want to do something about it and I can’t do it alone.
In addition to the fact that being in a war with yourself is exhausting (and I am tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiired), one of the main driving forces behind my own personal development, exploration, and healing of my life-long issues is because we are very close to starting our own family and I don’t want my child(ren) to be impacted by my actions and unhealthy views on self.
I really want to set a good example and ingrain in them that size, shape, weight, height, hair color, lip size, boob size, etc. does not indicate their personal value as a human.
The very first thing we should do is censor what we allow our eyes to see. I’m not big on censoring in general, but in this case, censorship needs to happen on an individual level. And the more censorship of mainstream media, the better.
In order to do that, we need to change what we are exposed to on TV, in movies, in magazines, and on social media. We can do that by choosing to unfollow mainstream media and instead follow body positive advocates who are on the same mission as myself. There are lots of us out there and there is also power in numbers.
Here are just a few incredible folks to follow to get started:
- Christy Harrison
- Vivienne McMaster
- Nanci Tunley
- Lauren Fowler
- Tera Bucasas
- Body Image Movement
- Jessamyn Stanley
- Summer Innanen
- Simi Botic
- Maddy Moon
- and Me
We can’t change the whole media world in one fell swoop. But we can take small steps to change what media we allow ourselves and our children to see.
We can stop allowing the objectification of women into our home and we can raise our girls and boys to treat each other with respect and kindness, no matter what he/she looks like.
I hope you’ll join me on this mission. More to come soon…
If you’re ready to say goodbye to the years of feeling out of control and compulsive around food (resulting in body shame) and shift into a place of peace and freedom then I can help. Come join my 7-day Food & Body Freedom eCourse (it’s free!) here. This eCourse came from my passion for helping women transform their relationships to food and body. What you desire IS truly possible if you are ready, open, and willing. It is time to say goodbye to the years of control, compulsive behaviors, limiting beliefs, scarcity of joy, and actions driven from a place of fear and feelings of unworthiness, once and for all. Learn more and sign up here.